With the results coming from the Crooked Creek Walleye Classic out of Fort Peck Reservoir this past weekend I believe the walleye bite might just be on. Kennie Williams from Lewistown and Travis Scott from Harlowton dominated the 59 team field with amazing back to back days. They caught and released 51.61 pounds of walleyes on the first day and came back the second day with a weight of 31.24 pounds. That is a total of 82.81 pounds of walleyes that were caught for the two days with an average of a little over 8 pounds a fish. Their winning weight was almost double the weight of the second place team Bob Hickey from Kalispell and Jason Mundel from Coram who had a respectable 45.17 pounds for the two day tournament that was held on of the west end of the reservoir at Crooked Creek.
The tournament, formally called the Fall Classic, was moved from August up to May this year. What might be even more impressive than the huge weight of the winners is that out of the 59 teams at least 25 teams caught at least 20 pounds over the two days. If you are a walleye angler like me that is a sign that the walleye bite has begun, at least on the west end of the 134 mile reservoir. I spoke to Eddie Mindt from the Lakeridge Lodging and Bait Shop which is located on the east end of the reservoir by the dam last Saturday and he reported that the walleye bite hadn’t quite kicked in on that side of the lake.
Bill Heinrich from Rock Creek Marina which is located on the Dry Arm of Fort Peck and a popular May walleye fishing destination reported that anglers who were fishing in that area of the lake had started to catch walleye, so I think that it is just a matter of time before the walleye’s start to bite consistently all across Fort Peck. Some more good news for smallmouth bass anglers came from Scott Collinsworth from Anaconda last week. Collinswoth reported that his son Hunter caught and released a 7.2 pound smallmouth bass which was just off the current Montana state record weight of 7.4 pounds which was caught out of Flathead Lake by Jacob Fowler last May. The father-son team were pre-fishing for the Crooked Creek Walleye Classic on Thursday on Fort Peck when Hunter hooked the monster fish. Collinsworth added that the smallmouth bass were biting like crazy that day.
Trap shooters will be heading to Missoula for the annual Ron Hoppie Memorial Trap Shoot this weekend. The three day event is held at the Missoula Trap and Skeet Club and attracts over 200 shooters from around the U.S. and Canada. Those 200 shooters which will include some All American’s will attempt to hit over 200,000 targets that will be thrown over the weekend. The 35th annual event will also employ over 40 plus high school kids to keep score. The Missoula Trap and Skeet Club is an all volunteer club with 18 trap fields 5 skeet fields, a 5 stand/sporting clays field, and an Olympic/bunker trap field. They are open to the public. Their 500 members pay an annual $40 membership fee according to member Larry Flanagan. For more information on how to join go to their web site: missoulatrapandskeet.com.
(Written by Mark Ward – aka the Captain)